Timeline: SoftBank raises Sprint bid, looks to fend off rival Dish offer

Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:50pm EDT

(Reuters) - Japanese mobile operator SoftBank Corp raised its offer for U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp to $21.6 billion for a 78 percent stake as it looks to fend off a rival bid for Sprint by Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite TV provider.

Following are key dates since SoftBank's takeover bid in October:

2012:

Oct 15 - SoftBank, Japan's No.3 mobile carrier, says it will buy about 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion [ID:nL3E8LF5M8] - in Japan's biggest outbound deal and a bold move by SoftBank's billionaire founder and CEO Masayoshi Son.

Oct 18 - Sprint says it buys more than 50 percent of Clearwire by buying a stake from its founder.

Dec 13 - Sprint offers $2.1 billion to buy the rest of Clearwire after talks with shareholders, including Intel Corp and Comcast Corp.

Dec 17 - Sprint raises its Clearwire offer to $2.97/shr.

2013:

Jan 8 - Dish makes preliminary $3.30/shr bid for Clearwire.

Jan 29 - Dish decides not to block Sprint's proposed deal with SoftBank, citing its ongoing negotiations with Clearwire and uncertainty over that company's ownership.

Feb 12 - Clearwire says it will need Sprint financing to keep afloat until the end of the year.

April 15 - Dish offers to buy Sprint for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, trumping SoftBank's bid. Dish says its offer will bring $11 billion in cost savings and the creation of a national provider of video, broadband and voice services.

April 16 - Hedge fund titan John Paulson, a major Sprint shareholder, backs Dish bid.

April 30 - SoftBank boss Son slams Dish bid for Sprint, saying Dish would cripple Sprint with debt and was ill-prepared to run a wireless service.

May 10 - Dish's Ergen says buying Sprint is so important to his firm he would consider selling the whole company if he loses a bidding war with SoftBank.

May 11 - SoftBank, which owns a third of Alibaba Group, warns banks that financing Dish's rival bid for Sprint could hurt their chances of landing a role in the Chinese e-commerce giant's highly anticipated IPO.

May 21 - Sprint says SoftBank granted it a waiver allowing it to consider Dish's rival $25.5 billion offer.

May 22 - Sprint raises its buyout offer for Clearwire to $3.40/shr per share, valuing Clearwire at $10.7 billion.

May 25 - An influential U.S. senator expresses strong concerns about SoftBank's plan to buy 70 percent of Sprint, warning it could expose the U.S. to Chinese cyber attacks.

May 29 - Dish raises its buyout offer for Clearwire to $4.40/shr, topping Sprint's offer by nearly 30 percent.

May 30 - Sprint and SoftBank reach a national security agreement with U.S. authorities, receiving notice from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that it had no issues with the proposed deal.

June 7 - SoftBank is in talks with Deutsche Telekom AG over a possible deal for T-Mobile US Inc, as a potential alternative U.S. entry vehicle if it fails to win Sprint, say people familiar with the situation.

June 11 - SoftBank raises its Sprint offer to $21.6 billion for a 78 percent stake, and wins key support from Paulson & Co.

(Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Ian Geoghegan)

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